Farewell TechEd

Microsoft announced last week the name of its new all in one conference that would take the place of several other items, one of which is TechEd.  There is still one last chance to attend a TechEd, Europe conference but it starts on October 28 and it in Barcelona Spain. MS Ignite will happen May 2015 in Chicago. But honestly that isn’t what I wanted to talk about.

For the last 2 years I have attended TechEd and represented PASS at their booth on the vendor floor. 2013 was spectacular! Our booth saw a lot of traffic. People coming by asking technical questions, learning about SQLSaturday and finding local chapters. There was a lot of #SQLFamily there. This year 2014 was different. There were fewer #SQLFamily and most of the MVPs were holding down the MS Expert booth. We didn’t get the same foot traffic as last year. One thing that we noticed was last year MS had used the old Pass logo and this year they used the new one. See what you think 2014 is on the left and 2013 right. When I look at this I see one distinct difference the removal of “Professional Association for SQL Server”. If you walked by and saw PASS and didn’t know what it was you might not be inclined to stop.



Why I am sad to see TechEd come to an end.

Reason 1 is just pure history. Over the years Kerry has attended the conference and I just went along as a trailing spouse. I wonder how many #SQLFamily were there and we didn’t even know them yet. I am not certain that a larger conference will be any better. Houston (2014) was sold out. Our hotel was a 40 minute bus ride away depending on traffic. That isn’t fun. With that big of an audience how to you cater topics of interest to everyone? It will be interesting to see how this evolves over time but who am I to judge I am not losing anything here ….or am I?

Speaker Idol

Reason 2. I didn’t make a big deal out of this and maybe I should have. This year I had the honor of participating in Speaker Idol. I was invited to do a 5 minute technical presentation where I would be publically judged directly afterwards. Why would anyone want to do this? Mark Minasi was a judge that there is enough of a good reason. Feedback about your presenting style from seasoned professionals. The prize? You get a session at TechEd next year.

My dear friend Karen Lopez [  Twitter  |  BLOG  ] did this the year before and although she didn’t win she was able to get a speaking spot this year. She is actually the one that got me on the list. She’s a great friend who knows a lot and just how valuable this experience would be.

So I guess I am sad to see TechEd come to an end because I will never know what it is like to speak at TechEd. I can tell you more about my experience later, this post reserved for being sad to say good bye.

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